Easy and Personal Holiday Gift Ideas

Hello makers! I’m blogging at you from beautiful, sunny California and I couldn’t be more thankful. Our family recently sold our home, down sized, and we are now RV living while we buy land and build our next home. Needless to say, the past couple of months have been a whirlwind and I have BIG TIME slacked on making and shopping for gifts this year. Usually I’m finished back in October, but life got super busy this year. Do you know the feeling? Well, I’m here with a few Easy and Personal Holiday Gifts Ideas that won’t break your bank and won’t take up too much of your time to create.

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Staples Copy and Print makes it easy for consumers to do more for less this holiday season with personalized gifts at great prices. Plus, they offer a variety of designs in personalized holiday cards and photo gifts. Photos are my favorite and incorporating them into gifts is such a great way to personalize gifts.

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Items like ornaments, mouse pads, pillows, calendars, cell phone cases, coffee mugs, t-shirts… they can all be personalized with your favorite photos from throughout the year and sent to someone special!

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It only takes a few minutes with Staples Copy & Print services. You design, order, and pay for your gifts online right from the comfort of your own home or even at work on your lunch break! Staples ships most of the items right to you!

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Wouldn’t it be fun to surprise a friend or family member with an ornament that has photos on it of something fun they did that year? Or maybe a cell phone case! Just hop over to their Facebook or Instagram pages to grab a few of their photos from throughout the year! Save them to your computer and upload them to Staples Copy and Print website.

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The Staples Copy and Print site is very user-friendly and it took me all of 30 minutes to create 2 personalized gifts and my annual family Christmas cards. The two gifts arrived on my door step several days later and my Christmas cards were ready for me to pick up in less than 24 hours at my local Staples store! Talk about convenient. Busy mamas love convenience.

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I really love the way our Christmas cards and gifts turned out! Now all I need to do is get them addressed and sent out!

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Are you ready to create some easy and personal gifts? Click HERE for holiday cards, invitations, and calendars. Save 20% off all orders placed before December 26th with code HOLIDAY20. Click HERE for custom photo gifts. Save 20% off all orders placed before December 26th with code JOLLY20.

So tell me, what are you going to make first on the Staples Copy and Print site?! Tell us in the comments or tweet at us @mineforthemakin!

Want to receive our Christmas card this year? Shoot me an email with your address!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 Tips to Creating Holiday Cards Stress Free

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is getting our family photos taken and creating Christmas cards to send out to our family and friends. Last year I never got around to this favorite tradition of mine due to the hustle and bustle of running our businesses. This year I was determined to not let out holiday cards slip through the cracks. So today I am sharing 5 Tips to Creating Holiday Cards Stress Free. Because let’s be honest… adding family photos and cards to our already long list can be a bit stressful. It’s an easy one to cross off the list… until now!

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1. Coordinate the family’s outfits.

Pick a color scheme for your family (we chose red, white, black, and grey this year) and then go through your closets and see what you can piece together *before* heading to the store to buy everyone a new outfit. This year the only things I purchased NEW were my daughter’s shirt and shoes. Everything else we owned or borrowed. (I borrowed our cute red mommy and mini scarves from Shop Melissa Kay, my friend’s handmade shop.) The cost to me was less than $20 ($8 for shirt and $10 for shoes). Cutting this part of my budget created less stress for sure.

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2. Pick a location.

You need to choose a location for your family photos. To create less stress, try choosing a location that’s not too terribly far from home. Then you don’t have to worry about rushing around to try to be there on time. You can google good locations nearby OR if you are lucky, one of your blog friends will write up a post with great local locations for family photos. This year we found a cotton field and a wild flower field to take our photos in. SO fun.

 

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3. Take your own photos! 

Lucky for me, my husband is a photographer and has lots of fun equipment. This year we took our own family photos by setting up the tripod and using the timer on the DSLR camera. We had a ton of out takes and my husband did a lot of running between the back of the camera and to his spot with our family before the timer went off, but we got some great shots and lots of memories were made. Some other positives about taking the photos yourself are that you don’t have to worry about making an appointment, you can edit the photos yourself (and as fast as you want), and you save the cost of paying someone. 

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4. Edit those photos right away!

Narrow your options and only edit 1-5 of your favorite photos. That’s really the most you’ll need to create a holiday card. And the sooner you edit your photos, the faster you can get those holiday cards created. I love using Picmonkey to edit my photos. It’s super user-friendly and it’s free to use the basic editing options. Photoshop is a great resource too, but if you don’t have it available, Picmonkey is a great alternative. 

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5. Create your holiday card using Pear Tree Greetings.

This year I used Pear Tree Greetings to create our holiday cards and I kid you not, it took me 15 minutes to do, start to finish. Pear Tree Greetings is SUPER user-friendly. They have tons of options to choose from… postcards, ornament cards, magnet cards, trifold cards, folded cards, and flat cards. You can easily narrow your search using the easy checklist on the Pear Tree Greetings site. Once you pick the card you want, up upload your photos, plug them into the card (simply by dragging them with your curser), and edit the holiday message and family name. Then you are ready to place your order! That simple. And I did it from bed in my jammies. Can I get an Amen?!

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Not only were the cards a quick, easy process, but they arrived in less than 8 business days and look absolutely lovely! We went with the postcard option this year and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. Such great quality. My husband is SUPER picky and he loves them too! #winwin ;) And yes I realize some of my Christmas lights are not working. #reallife 

Pear Tree Greetings is giving away a $50 credit to their site f0r one lucky MFTM reader to use towards their holiday cards this year! How awesome is that?! Just fill out the rafflecopter below and the random winner will be selected in 4 days and announced here. Good luck and Merry Christmas my friends!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I received complementary holiday cards for writing this post but all ideas and opinions are 100% my own. I only share ideas and products that I think MFTM readers will love as much as I do!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, sweet friends…
from my family to yours.
Luke 2:11

Shutterfly Dinner Party + a GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway closed!
Winner has been chosen. Thanks for entering!
I was in desperate need of a girls night out…and thankfully See Vanessa Craft and Shutterfly came to my rescue! {winks}
 I had the privilege of hanging out with some of my bloggy/Instagram friends at Oregano’s for dinner the other night. We shared lots of laughs, yummy food, and were able to look at all that Shutterfly has to offer this holiday season. We were also able to discuss some of our family photo day tips and tricks. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
1. Pick a color scheme for your outfits.
This year we picked blue plaids, denim, and creamy lace and pearls (lace & pearls for the girls obviously).
2. Bring a few props.
Props are so fun for picture taking. Some of my favorites are: chalkboards, frames, big wooden letters, and even ornaments and candy canes for holiday photos!
3. Don’t be beyond bribery!
Yes, it’s true. I bring candy and some of my daughter’s favorite snacks so that we can get through our photos with smiles. Sometimes I even offer a reward at the end of the shoot!
4. Find a beautiful, outdoor location.
I LOVE taking our family photos outside rather than in a studio setting. Most of the time my photographer has a few locations in mind, but don’t be afraid to search out your own location too.
5. Plan your photo session in enough time to order your holiday cards!
Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your photo shoot with your photographer. You want plenty of time to pick the perfect photo card. 
Check out more Family Photo Day tips and tricks HERE.
Don’t forget to check out Shutterfly’s #CardWorthy Photo Contest that is running on their Facebook page. From Nov. 12 – Dec. 9! Upload one of your family photos for a chance to win a dream trip for a family of 4…and the winner chooses the destination! Click HERE for more details!
And now for a Shutterfly GIVEAWAY!
Giveaway ends on Dec. 11th at midnight and the winner will be announced on the 12th.

Merry Christmas {holiday card 2011}

I LOVE traditions. We have quite a few in our family…especially during the holidays.
I love the tradition of getting new family photos, designing a holiday card, and sending them off to our family and friends. 
I have used Shutterfly to order my photo holiday cards for the past 2 Christmases and I really love the quality of the card. Below you will find our holiday card for this year as well as a link to check out what else Shutterfly has to offer. 

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

We hope you have a Christmas that is merry and bright and a healthy and happy 2012.

In His name, 
The Rodgersons 
All opinions are 100% my own. I will be reimbursed with store credit for sharing this with you.